Step back in time with fascinating old photos and film of Inverness in Scotland.
The City of Inverness is the largest settlement in the Highland Council area of Scotland. Over the past century, visits from notable royals and politicians, as well as cultural events celebrating Scottish heritage, have drawn filmmakers to the area.
Old Photographs of Inverness
The first video features a great selection of old photos taken from a variety of the city’s locations, giving you a flavour of the past people and places.
Old Photographs Inverness Scotland – on YouTube
New Colours for the Camerons in 1920
Prince Albert, the Duke of York, was newly made a Colonel when this even occurred.
Prince Albert in 1920
In April 1920, Prince Albert – or Bertie as his friends and family called him – was forced to end an infatuation with the married Australian socialite Lady Loughborough.
Now aged 25, he accepted the offer of the Dukedom from his father, King George V, in return. On 4 June 1920 his father created him Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killarney.
But his marriage in 1923 still broke with convention, when he wed the aristocratic Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (youngest daughter of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne) instead of royalty.
In 1936 his father died and his brother briefly became King Edward VIII, though Edward abdicated by the end of the year to marry the twice-divorced American Mrs Simpson. At that point, Bertie became King George VI.
And if you’ve watched the feature film ‘The King’s Speech’, you’ll know about his battle to overcome a speech impediment for this new, and unexpected, role.
This film captures a formal ceremony in front of an audience and The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.
Next, the Scottish soldiers march through the city streets, cheered on by large crowds of spectators.
New Colours For The Camerons (1920) – British Pathe on YouTube
Highland Season 1921
Climax of the Highland Season, footage of the gathering includes a man tossing a caber, men vault over a wooden horse with a person kneeling on top of it, and a band of pipers and drummers.
Northern Meeting Scotland (1921) – British Pathe on YouTube
Inverness Bowling Club in 1926
The short, silent footage opens with ‘The Winning Team – Inverness Bowling Club, sitting with their cup:
- No. 1 – A J Maclean
- No. 2 – D C Wilson
- No. 3 – D R Munro
- Skip-President, John MacKenzie
Inverness Northern Counties Bowling Association Rink Competition, played at the Inverness & Highland Club Greens is then shown. June 9th 1926. There are some houses in the background, but action is focussed on the competition.
Inverness Bowling Club (1926) – British Pathé on YouTube
Scottish Champion Athlete 1928
Mr E. Anderson was a Police Constable. In his spare time, he was Scotland’s champion athlete.
A Highland Hercules (1928) – British Pathé on YouTube
Muscle And Music in 1928
Piping bands, sword dancers. Mr E. Anderson appears again. He’s 25 years old and has won 132 prizes at games this year.
Muscle And Music (1928) – British Pathé on YouTube
Prince Edward’s Freedom of the Burgh 1931
Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (crowned King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, in 1936, the same year he abdicated) visited the city in 1931 to receive Freedom of the Burgh.
Wearing Highland dress, the Prince is accompanied by Provost MacEwen. He meets General Sir Ian Hamilton (President of the British Legion) and a Boy Scout leader, and inspects some of the 600 ex-servicemen and veterans on parade.
Then he goes from the new boys scouts headquarters to the Town Hall, via towns packed with spectators.
The guard of Honour was formed by the Seaforth Highlanders, of which the Prince was Colonel in Chief.
“Watch him greet a Scout friend with a left handshake, and then another acquaintance, this time with a right hand, and he has to remember all these little things.”
The narrator emphasises how hard working the Prince is – having to remember etiquette, ask people about where they served, and listen to long speeches.
Then we hear that late that evening the Prince slipped away to play some golf!
The Prince In The Highlands (1931) – British Pathé on YouTube
Inverness in 1935
A British Pathé film notes that on Sunday and ‘flag days’ the town falls quiet.
We see the River Ness, the old part of town, the Cathedral and CAstle with comments about how recently they were built, and a statue to Flora MacDonald (1722 – 5 March 1790). She helped Charles Edward Stuart evade government troops after the Battle of Culloden in April 1746, despite her family’s support for the government.
Finally we see Loch Ness, with a couple of 1930s cars driving along the waterside road.
Now For A Couple Of Minutes In Inverness Aka Two Minutes In Inverness (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube
Soldiers on Parade in the 1930s
Part of the British Pathé collection, this may have been filmed for New Empire News. It’s a short black and white silent clip showing Scottish soldiers on parade.
Inverness (1930-1939) – British Pathé on YouTube
1959 Steam Train
Steam trains filmed in colour on 2nd April 1959.
Easter 1959 in Scotland – 5 Pickersgill at Inverness – on YouTube
The Queen’s Own Highlanders 1961
In 1961, The Seafroth Highlanders and the The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders merged into The Queen’s Own Highlanders. In 1994, the unit was to be further modified, amalgamating with The Gordon Highlanders to form The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons).
This British Pathé newsreel opens with a lovely shot of the city from a high vantage point.
Then we see spectators watching the soldiers parade through the street.
In the Playhouse Cinema, civic dignitaries and soldiers held an official event, with a Freedom Scroll handover.
Brigadier Grant Peterkin, Provost R. Wotherspoon, J Cameron the town clerk and Lieutenant Colonel W Baird appear.
Finally, the Regiment marched past the Town House.
Highlanders Freedom (1961) – British Pathé on YouTube
Gathering Of The Clans 1966
First the location of the Battle of Culloden, then the Gathering of the Clans in a parade ground.
We see Colonel Sir Donald Hamish Cameron of Lochiel (12 September 1910 – 26 May 2004), who was the 26th Chief of Clan Cameron, a Scottish landowner, and a financier.
Women appear in uniform. Young children dance in a competition. Traditional sports.
Gathering Of The Clans (1966) – British Pathé on YouTube
Tourists at Inverness Castle in the 1970s
What appears to be an orchestra or wind band from abroad visit the castle.
1970s Tourists at Inverness Castle Scotland – on YouTube
Bex Bar in the 1990s
Photo montage of Bex Bar with lots of people appearing.
A Tribute to Bex Bar Inverness mkII – on YouTube
British Rail Train 1994
Remember when trains had payphones? And toilet doors that closed without suddenly opening two minutes later?
This home movie was recorded on Thursday, June 30, 1994 at 7 a.m. at Inverness train station.
Half way through is a glimpse of the almost deserted station.
At the end someone struggles into the carriage with a big bulky suitcase – because suitcase wheels still hadn’t been invented.
British Rail train walkthrough, June 1994, Inverness, Scotland – on YouTube
2010 Historic Buildings
Lovely soundtrack to views of historic buildings.
Inverness 2010 – Around Town – on YouTube